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Statics via Lagrangians

  1. Jul 22, 2010 #1
    Is it possible to do statics using lagrangians? (specifically building up a compound shape like a bridge from constrained point masses). Where could I see an example of this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2010 #2
    Yes, just put the Lagrangian equal to the potential energy. However I think you will find that, if you have an equilibrium the potential energy is at minimum more useful. For example consider the cantenary.

    [tex]V=\int_C my\,ds[/tex]

    Now if you use Lagrangian mechanics you would be minimising [tex]\iint_C my\,ds\,dt[/tex] instead of [tex]\int_C my\,ds[/tex]
  4. Jul 23, 2010 #3
    Thank you!
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